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School of Business & Economics
Winners celebrated at reception for 100 Words Centennial Drabble Contest
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Authors, friends and family packed into the Hawk’s Nest at Laurier’s Waterloo campus to celebrate the winners of Wilfrid Laurier University’s “100 Words” Centennial Drabble Contest.
“I was delighted to find the entries were all over the place, in the best possible way,” said judge Tamas Dobozy, associate professor of English, at the event. “There were lyric entries that dealt with a mood or a state of mind, there were really short narratives that told a story in a snapshot, and there were also some conceptual entries that dealt with paradox or language itself.”
He told the crowd it was fun to wade through the variety of responses.
“It was clear Laurier is a place of many voices; all of them in dialogue,” he said. “It is a testament to the community-minded spirit that is part of the university's heritage.”
Brian Henderson, director: WLU Press, and Tanis MacDonald, associate professor of English, also judged the contest.
Laurier launched the drabble contest to celebrate the university’s 100th anniversary. Participants were asked to write a fiction story exactly 100 words long that explored one of the following topics: “inspiration,” “leadership” or “purpose.” The contest drew more than 200 entries from staff, faculty, students and community members.
The four prize-winning authors read their drabbles at the celebration event.
Including the winning drabbles, 48 entries were published in an official keepsake book. Copies of the drabble book will be available for purchase at both the Waterloo and Brantford campus bookstores.
The overall winning entry:
By Emily Bednarz
Get an idea. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen: a van and SUV change lanes in tandem. A smooth transition, a sweep of motion across the highway. Things move together after all. Wednesday morning, the guts of a university – waste management workers bring coffee to each other, shining spring light. Library assistants shelve books only named by number, sullen grey clouds. Students of various hue and disposition trudge and stretch the campus, still in darkness, looking for daylight or sunset or raincloud or hurricane. Balancing along the ridgepole of the farmhouse, attempting to reach the weathervane.
The winning entry for the “inspiration” category:
By Eileen Morouney
How she dreaded the encounter. She’d endured 1,285 kilometres of trepidation accompanied by humming rubber. She would never be free of his relentless demands and threats – a meeting to negotiate, he’d said. Last week a process server had materialized with a gift from the Halls of Justice, resplendent with stamps, seals and fancy signatures.
The crumbling front steps looked completely unchanged. A cold sweat broke as she rang the bell and listened. A rusty spade, jagged edges encrusted with dirt, was propped by the door. As it opened, she swung with all her might. The drive home would be better.
The winning entry for the “leadership” category:
Leap of Faith
By Brian Gabriel Smith
“Awrrright! Who’s with me?”
One lemming cleared his throat. “Gee, Frank, it’s… pretty far down.”
Frank pointed his tiny paw skyward. “You think that crow’s thinking, Boo-hoo, it’s so far down!”
Heads shook, no.
“Cos he’s a bird?”
“But not a chicken!” Frank clarified.
The troublemaker peeked over the edge. “It’s just… all those little carcasses down there.”
Staring down the crowd, Frank spoke softly. “You wanna sit here forever overthinking this, fine! I’ll send you a postcard from the stars!”
That pride felt while plunging earthward, surrounded by the others’ screams – it gave Frank wings. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
The winning entry for the “purpose” category:
By Nicholas Dinka
At roadside there stood a peach tree, and one fine summer day while cycling past he reached out to pluck ripe fruit from branch. Juices drabbling down his chin, he crested hilltop, one-handed. But he’d gained excessive speed, and missed a stop sign coming down, slick fingers slipping from the brake. When the paramedic bent to administer CPR, her eyes widened as she tasted nectar on his lips. The peach, half-eaten, landed roadside; picked clean by ants, it endured wind and snow, heat and cold, became a tree. On summer days its branches, laden with fruit, overhung the road, beckoning.